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Sebow



Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:53 am Reply with quote
I've halted watching Ben-To and I'm currently watching episode 5 of Fate/Zero.

Seeing the mess that was Unlimited Blade Works, the decent Fate/Stay Night and Shingetsutan Tsukihime, which was a good story in my opinion, but didn't properly represent the Type-Moon qualities.

I feel like giving a standing ovation to Ufotable, first for producing Kara No Kyoukai, and now for producing Fate/Zero which in my opinion, is vastly superior to the whole Fate/Stay Night business so far.
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Botan24



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 684
Location: Northern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:46 pm Reply with quote
B Gata H Kei - Yamada's First Time came in the mail yesterday, and I've been watching it with my husband. This is actually my second time seeing it, but it's my first time viewing the dubbed version. Funimation holds a special place in my heart for their consistently funny comedy adaptations. This one is no different. I've been *nearly* dying of laughter every episode. And my husband is having pretty much the same reaction. We both love clueless Yamada, and how screwball the story truly is. I still don't care for Karbowski as Yamada, but that's not because of her performance (which is good). Its more like her voice doesn't sound like a fifteen year old. She sounds more like she's nineteen (I know that's nitpicking, but hey, everyone's a critic Wink).
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:13 pm Reply with quote
DOES EVERYONE'S LOOK LIKE THAT!?

I had to pause two minutes in BGHK because I couldn't stop laughing. Although, I'm LOVING Karbowski's performance. No one does that fast-talking, super hectic, super OMGOMGOMG character better then her. No one.
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Botan24



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 684
Location: Northern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:41 pm Reply with quote
The King of Harts wrote:
DOES EVERYONE'S LOOK LIKE THAT!?

I had to pause two minutes in BGHK because I couldn't stop laughing. Although, I'm LOVING Karbowski's performance. No one does that fast-talking, super hectic, super OMGOMGOMG character better then her. No one.


"Hey there boobies! How's it goin'?" Laughing
So many good quotes from that show...sigh.

Not too quibble over fine points, but I did not say I don't like Karbowski's performance. Her voice just doesn't do it for me, simple as that. However, my husband does enjoy her voice. He thinks it cute. So it must be a guy thing.
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Gewürtztraminer
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 872
Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:53 pm Reply with quote
Maizenkaiser SKL : For the price of this bluray, I was not expecting much, but was very shocked. This thing looks great, and the show is as good as 3 episode mech show could be in my opinion. When you finally get to the disc menu and the guitar riff cranks up, you know you are in for a good time.

Vampire Knight Guilty: If there is one thing to give this series, it ratchets up the sexual tension of the triangle wonderfully, without beating you over the head with fanservice. I enjoyed it, though I am not sure if I am in for a rewatch.

A.LI.CE and Blue Remains: Ugh. Picked this double pack up while it was on sale for $8. I guess if you want to see a movie with non high budget 97'ish CGI.... Blue Remains is the better of the two.
I made it though both, though I did leave the room for 12 minutes of Alice. Compared to today's CGI, this looks bad, the stories are not good, the dub is very subpar..... move along nothing to see here.

About halfway through Garden of Sinners on PSN.
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2521
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:00 am Reply with quote
Dennou Coil

In a near future Japan, people have ubiquitous and instant access - via special glasses -to the cyberworld thanks to an augmented reality that is layered upon the real world. Unlike most adults, children have taken to the technology with enthusiasm but, to the unwary, cyberspace might just turn out to be an eternal limbo for those who venture there. Among the children, an entire mythology has grown up around the cyberworld and its rumoured inhabitants.

Dennou Coil could be described the spiritual child of the cyberpunk Serial Experiments Lain, although the "punk" part of the equation has been almost totally denatured. Even though it lacks Lain's attitude and weirdness, it is more emotionally engaging. The mysteries are somewhat easier to unravel and, unlike Lain, it doesn't rely on its strangeness for its appeal. (Once the scenario behind Lain is grasped it can be a bit of a chore to re-watch.) The rewards of Dennou Coil go beyond its sci-fi cyber elements, thanks to its marvellous array of characters and, especially in the second half, its escalating tension as the children get sucked into a vortex that began in their traumatic pasts. How it all comes together is compelling and coherent.

Pushing the drama along are the three remarkable girls: Yasako ("kind child") who cares deeply for her friends and has vague memories of something terrible happening to her in the cyberworld when she was younger; Isako ("brave child") who is wise beyond her years and who is desperate to bring her brother back from the "other side"; and Fumie, an imp prepared to take on anybody or anything but who goes weak at the knees at the merest hint of a scary story. The best word to describe them is "plucky". They have courage in spades and, consequently, it's impossible not to care for them. None of the three are static - one of the many pleasures of Dennou Coil is how they grow in maturity over the course of the story.


Yasako, Fumie and Isako

The boys aren't quite so appealing. The tone of their characters is comparatively one dimensional. Yasako's love interest, Haraken, is so traumatised that he mostly comes across as a bit of a sook (understandably, though). Leader of the hacker club, Daichi, is mostly just brattish even if, like Haraken, he has an important role to play. The antagonist, Nekome, is the least convincing character, probably because he is the only one that remains unsympathetic to the end. Hacker club member, Denpa, is the pick of the male characters, with his shy and earnest kindness.

Whatever the level of complexity in the characters, one memorable feature of Dennou Coil is the enormous range of facial expressions that all the children have. I've never seen a television anime to match it. Not only is there a vast, and often subtle, array of emotions being displayed but, during conversations, the expressions change continuously. And it's all done with the simplest alterations in their facial features. Character designs otherwise are straightforward, albeit unusual for modern day anime.

The concepts involved in the augmented reality and in its glasses interface are fascinating. It relies on the same leap of faith as Serial Experiments Lain - that our consciousness can be directly linked to the cyberworld. It also relies on the same fallacy that underpins many a cyberpunk scenario - the Cartesian belief that our consciousness is separate from our body and thus conceivably can move into other spaces. Ghost in the Shell is another prime example that depends on this notion. It's a belief that lingers across cultures because it is central to many people's concept of choice and of religion. I recommend people read Daniel Dennett's Consciousness Explained where Descartes' philosophy is completely demolished. Consciousness is the expression of a functioning brain. You can no more remove consciousness from a brain than you can remove speed from a motorcycle.

Of course, this is no more a leap in faith than alchemy in Full Metal Alchemist, or the mushi in Mushi-Shi or faster than light travel in many another sci-fi tale. Accepting the premise allows the viewer to immerse themselves in the pleasure of the storytelling. And there are many pleasures to be had in Dennou Coil.

I just want to make some final comments about the music. The musical motif D-E♭-C-B is used throughout the series, especially when there is a sudden dramatic change in circumstances. A variation on these notes is also the basis of an extended musical theme that accompanies many of the more tense scenes. In German musical notation the four notes are written as D-Es-C-H (or DSCH) and is most associated with the composer Dmitri Shostakovich (ie, D Sch). He used it frequently in his music to represent himself in a totalitarian Soviet Union.

It's a dismal sequence of notes (I don't mean that pejoratively) and, thanks to the allusion, whenever it is played in the anime, it strongly suggests the plight of the individual in overwhelming circumstances. (Something similar, but to opposite effect, occurs in Chihayafuru where a happy and sprightly motif is derived from the anime's title.)

Rating: the high end of excellent

Maris the Chojo aka Supergal

With the current summer season so lacklustre, it provides me with the opportunity to catch up on older anime that I've been meaning to watch. Maris the Chojo is one such. Based on a one-shot manga by Rumiko Takahashi (who gave us Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, the Mermaid tales, Ranma ½ and Inuyasha) it follows the travails of Maris, an intergalactic law agent with super strength, who tries to save the kidnapped son of a billionaire in the hope he might marry her and resolve her financial woes. The immediate inspiration is the original Dirty Pair, which first aired the year before. Not only does Maris look like Kei and her major adversary - Zombie Sue - a bleached hair version of Yuri, but she is forever conned by her superior officer to take on more cases to pay for the debts she has accrued. Maris and Sue not only sport wrestling outfits, the climax of the OAV is an enormously entertaining, bone-crunching wrestling match (as if Rumiko wanted all along to pit Yuri agaisnt Kei). And why does Maris have so much debt? Everything she touches is destroyed, of course.


Kei copping it sweet from Yuri. Err.. I mean Maris copping it sweet from Zombie Sue

The major departure from Dirty Pair is an important one. Maris the Chojo is consistently funny over the 45 minute duration of the OAV. It also has some wonderfully surreal moments such as a beach scene that references all sorts of cultural icons, a la the Daicon films, and the unexpected dimensions of Maris's boss when he finally appears in person, rather than on a monitor. Dirty Pair has its surreal moments but they're nowhere near as surprising or bizarre. As a bonus, the end credits are a homage to the stunt bloopers that feature at the end of classic Jackie Chan movies.

Rating: decent

The Thin Red Line and The Burmese Harp

Please bear with me - there is an anime connection here. In addition to Dennou Coil one of my Christmas presents was a DVD containing a trio of war films: The Thin Red Line, Gallipoli and Platoon. In my humble opinion The Thin Red Line is one of the best films on war you could ever see. It's a thoughtful rumination on the nature of war where everybody has their reasons for the way they act. Even the least sympathetic character - Lieutenant Colonel Tall - behaves in a coherent, understandable way. The film doesn't polemicise. It lets viewers draw their own conclusions and avoids the pitfall, so common in war movies, where the action undermines the intent.

The film shares its tone and thematic approaches with the 1956 Japanese live action film The Burmese Harp (Biruma no tategoto), directed by Kon Ichikawa, which tells the story of a soldier in the immediate post-war aftermath, who is so appalled by events that he resolves not to return to Japan until all the victims of war in Burma receive a proper burial. Both films have a main character that stands apart emotionally and spiritually from the soldiers and from the suffering around them. The director of The Thin Red Line, Terence Malick, acknowledges the connection by using the main musical theme from the Japanese film in some of his own scenes. I think both films are masterpieces in their own way. I would go so far to say that The Burmese Harp is the best anti-war film ever made (not necessarily the best anti-military film, or even the best war film full stop, but the best anti-war film, if the distinctions make sense). Possibly it's because it is a portrayal of war from the point of view of the vanquished, who probably understand war better than anyone, but perhaps because its point of view is also a thoroughly humanist one, rather than argued with a tone of moral outrage. One thing's for sure, it wears its heart on its emotional sleeve. Nevertheless, like The Thin Red Line, it is a slow, considered contemplation on what war is and what it does to our humanity.

Who was Kon Ichikawa? He began his working life with JO Studios as an animator in 1933 before being moved to their motion picture department. He directed the 1978 anime The Phoenix: Chapter of Dawn and is credited as supervisor on Galaxy Express 999. Despite directing many live action films, of which several are highly regarded, he always described himself as an animator first, with Disney as his major influence after Charlie Chaplin.


Last edited by errinundra on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:11 pm; edited 7 times in total
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:35 am Reply with quote
Just watched the Ninja Scroll movie, which I got like a month ago for $2 or something. As a ninja action movie made in 94, pretty good job. But the problem is that I've already seen Basilisk, which does ninja action just so much better. And when the ninja in Ninja Scroll have super powers (half of which were similar to Basilisks), I of course kept going "huh, this is like Basilisk, but not as good".

So yeah, it was a decent watch if you want to turn your mind off for an hour and a half, and if you liked Ninja Scroll, watch Basilisk for sure (because Ninja Scroll was like a poor man's Basilisk if you ask me). But yeah, Basilisk is way better, just watch Basilisk because it's good!
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errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:43 am Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
...because Ninja Scroll was like a poor man's Basilisk...


Except that Ninja Scroll predates Basilisk by 11 years. Mind you, I agree that it's a pretty average movie. I wonder why it was so popular in the west.
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:00 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
classicalzawa wrote:
...because Ninja Scroll was like a poor man's Basilisk...
Except that Ninja Scroll predates Basilisk by 11 years.

It might predate the anime by 11 years, but the novel that the anime was based on was written in the late 50s. I wouldn't doubt that Basilisk took some visual cues from Ninja Scroll, but Basilisk still did them better imo.

Still, I noticed that my friend's bf had this on VHS. He also had a ton of terrible 90s OVAs on VHS and compared to the ones on his shelf, Ninja Scroll is clear gold. I'm guessing that in the VHS era it was more popular because most other anime that could fit onto a single VHS were pure and absolute garbage. And VHS anime wasn't exactly cheap, 2, 3 eps if you were lucky for $30, it would certainly make things that are on a single VHS very tempting, especially if they're pretty good.
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errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:08 am Reply with quote
Yeah, sometimes it's hard to grasp the choices people had in the past, when we're so blinded by today's cornucopia. Anyway, I must get around to watching Basilisk.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:29 am Reply with quote
Actually I want to watch some of those terrible 90s OVAs he has, I bet they'd be a ton of fun to see! He also has the old Streamline dub of Akira on a VHS! Delicious!

I actually did watch the first VHS of La Blue Girl at their place with my friend while he was out once (he, uh, actually had all 6 VHS and they made a picture using the spines, the one thing VHS cases were better for). Wow, it was special! First, my friend insisted that I watch the intro that was put on the VHS as an introduction to anime or something. In it, they explained that college students in Japan wear uniforms that look suspiciously like high school uniforms and attend colleges that look suspiciously like high schools. They also made sure to say about 5 times that the main in La Blue Girl was in no way a high school student and was in fact in college and was 18 years old, as somehow evident by the uniform and school building and the hidden fact that they couldn't likely release it in that era if they admitted she was 14. But yeah, since it's a hentai, I won't go into anything story wise. But man, they must've had more that one studio animate the thing because the character models were all over the place, only adding to the hilarity. And of course, this was VHS era and hentai, so the dub was pretty bad. The whole thing kinda reminded me of GTA's Princess Robot Bubblegum but with ninjas and played totally straight.
Yeah, I simply had to watch a hentai at some point and I didn't want to buy one myself, so seeing La Blue Girl was an interesting experience to say the least. My reaction upon finishing it was "they made 5 more episodes? Why?" and then "yeah, not gonna watch those".

Next time I'm over there, I think I want to watch Baoh, that looked pretty terrible.
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ikillchicken
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Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:00 am Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
It might predate the anime by 11 years, but the novel that the anime was based on was written in the late 50s. I wouldn't doubt that Basilisk took some visual cues from Ninja Scroll, but Basilisk still did them better imo.


Seems like kind of a silly, superficial comparison to me. They may both be about super powered Ninjas on the surface but where Ninja Scroll is much more of a straight up, old school action flick, Basilisk is a tragic, Romeo & Julliet style love story. Add to that that one is a movie and another a 24 episode series and I don't think they're actually especially comparable.
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ailblentyn
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Joined: 28 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:21 am Reply with quote
@errinundra
Can I ask: You're not watching Maris the Chojo on DVD, are you?
There's not some R4 Rumic World nostalgia box set or something, is there?
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errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:29 am Reply with quote
ailblentyn wrote:
@errinundra
Can I ask: You're not watching Maris the Chojo on DVD, are you?
There's not some R4 Rumic World nostalgia box set or something, is there?


Sadly, no. It's a crappy quality fansub I downloaded. (Compare the screenshot with the Dennou Coil screenshot.) Crying or Very sad
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Mister V



Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Posts: 1000

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:36 am Reply with quote
Nisemonogatari! Good god, finally something I can watch, enjoy and fully embrace without any reservations. Been a while since I was so excited about watching something.
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